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VWSA employee gunned down in hijacking

A VWSA was gunned down during a hijacking at his Kwanobuhle home. File picture
A VWSA was gunned down during a hijacking at his Kwanobuhle home. File picture
Image: File picture

A Kwanobuhle man was shot dead in what appears to be a hijacking outside his house on Monday morning.

Zandisile Befile, 58, who works for Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) in Uitenhage, was found dead outside his house shortly after midnight.

Police have since revealed that they are looking into the possibility of a syndicate targeting VWSA employees again - similar to previous gangs that hijacked VWSA staff all over the country.

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Majola Nkohli said Befile was gunned down and his leased VW Polo vehicle stolen in the hijacking.

“At this stage details as to what exactly happened are unknown. It appears he was pulling into the yard of his house in Majombozi Street in Kwanobuhle when he was ambushed,” he said.

“It is unknown if he was followed or if the attackers were waiting outside his home for him.”

Nkohli said that Befile’s family woke to the gun shot and a car speeding away.

“The family heard a gunshot and the car speeding off when they went outside to investigate. He (Befile) was found lying in the driveway outside the yard,” he said.

“The car was circulated as hijacked and was found abandoned a short while later in an open field in the nearby Gunguluza area.”

“The investigation is on-going but at this stage we suspect that this murder is linked to a hijacking,” he said.

The murder comes after a national hijacking ring targeting VWSA employees, was exposed four years ago.

The hijackers would hijack the VW Polo which had been ordered under the pretence that it was a legitimate buy.

The gang mostly target Volkswagen SA employees and their VW Polo’s as - at the time - they were fairly new models and had low mileage.

After the hijacking, the vehicles were fitted with false license plates and license discs making them appear to be legit.

Police made a dent in the syndicate in 2015 after the arrest of a Port Elizabeth man and two others from the East Rand.

The hijackings are investigated by the police’s Vehicle Identification and Safeguarding Section (VISS).

Nkohli confirmed that they were looking into a syndicate emerging again following several incidents were staff had been hijacked during the year.

“I can confirm that VISS is looking at the possibility of a syndicate targeting VW employees again,” he added.

VWSA spokesperson Andile Dlamini said they were shocked and devastated by the senseless death.

“We are saddened by this unfortunate and tragic incident. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and we are liaising with the police to ascertain details of the incident,” he said.

“We have had a few sporadic incidents but in all such cases the vehicles were recovered (over the last year). This is the first incident in a long time where an employee has lost their life.”

Dlamini said their security team was working hand-in-hand with the police to bring the culprits to book and prevent further attacks on staff.


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